NPR FOR THE DEAF: We Hear It Even When U Can’t

http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7155/6750709847_a55e0af192.jpgFRESH AIR

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The individuals who participated in the first Inquisition 800 years ago kept detailed records of their activities. Vast archival collections at the Vatican, in France and in Spain contain accounts of torture victims’ cries, descriptions of funeral pyres and even meticulous financial records about the price of torture equipment. “[There are] expense accounts [for things] like how much did the rope cost to tie the hands of the person you burnt at the stake,” says writer Cullen Murphy. “The people who were doing interrogations were meticulous.” Murphy’s new book God’s Jury: The Inquisition and the Making of the Modern World traces the history of the Inquisitions — there were several — and draws parallels between some of the interrogation techniques used in previous centuries with the ones used today. “A few years ago, the intelligence agencies had some transcripts released … of interrogations that were done at Guantanamo, and the interrogations done by the Inquisition were surprisingly similar and just as detailed,” he tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross. “[They were] virtually verbatim.” MORE

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